Should students stay an addition semester to achieve a 3.0 cumulative GPA for graduate study?


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Dec 18, 2013
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Hello everyone: Firstly in advance, thank you for taking the time to read my thread. I'm happy to have stumbled upon this community. Presently, I am completing my undergraduate degree in psychology; I will not make excuses or delve into further details, but I had a rough start. With one semester remaining, I will have a 2.6 cumulative GPA. I intend to raise this as close to a 3.0 as I can by taking an additional course next semester, but I fear it will not be enough. My first question is: How essential is the 3.0 cumulative GPA standard for graduate study? I am fully aware that admittance into a doctoral program from a reputable institution is out of the question, but how about a reputable master's program? I am debating whether to stay another semester (an expense I would rather not incur). Your opinions would be appreciated.

Secondly, to what extent do master's programs overlap with doctoral programs? I'm looking into the prospect of completing a master's program and then later on, based upon its success, a doctoral program. Is this feasible?

I have more questions, but in the interest of directness I will ask them later on in the thread. Again, thank you kindly for reading my thread; please do not hesitate to ask any questions.

P.S. I thought, "Why not post a poll", so if you'd like, please answer that too.
 

WisNeuro

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Sounds like you better do hella good on the GRE and get into a decent masters program. Most overlap somewhat, meaning you can generally waive some courses here and there. No hard and set answer because every program treats the masters classes differently.
 

Marissa4usa

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I don't know why this isn't recommended more but why not take some classes at your local community college or state university to raise your undergrad GPA? You would have to take a lot of classes to get it up to a GPA that makes you competitive for a PhD program (plus, since it'd be a bunch of intro classes, that may raise concerns for doctoral programs), but if you can get it up to a 3.0 you'll be competitive for some decent master's programs. Obviously, there you should definitely be kicking ass, but IMHO this is the cheapest and most efficient route to go.
 
OP
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Dec 18, 2013
5
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Thanks for the responses everyones.

Sounds like you better do hella good on the GRE and get into a decent masters program. Most overlap somewhat, meaning you can generally waive some courses here and there. No hard and set answer because every program treats the masters classes differently.
I did well on the GRE, but I plan on studying and retaking the GRE again to do even better. Just to clarify, you're suggesting that master's programs may fulfill some requirements for doctoral programs, correct?

Yea, 2.6 probably aint gonna cut it anywhere. 2.8, maybe.
3.0+ is more like it.
Well... then good news! Or at least somewhat good news. I made a typo in my original post; I currently have a 2.6 GPA, but after this semester I should have about a 2.8 GPA.

I don't know why this isn't recommended more but why not take some classes at your local community college or state university to raise your undergrad GPA? You would have to take a lot of classes to get it up to a GPA that makes you competitive for a PhD program (plus, since it'd be a bunch of intro classes, that may raise concerns for doctoral programs), but if you can get it up to a 3.0 you'll be competitive for some decent master's programs. Obviously, there you should definitely be kicking ass, but IMHO this is the cheapest and most efficient route to go.
I'm under the impression that taking classes from another institution after completing a degree will not affect the GPA earned in that degree; the classes will certainly be listed and considered, but they will not be factored in. Is that correct? On that note though, I am considering taking additional courses as I mention below.
_______________________________________________________________

I realize I left out detail in my original post; I wrote this too late last night and I was tired. This is a private message I just wrote that describes the decision I'm making in more detail...

"Considering your experience and success with admittance and minding that I have a slightly higher GPA than you did (I should graduate with approx. a 2.7-2.8 GPA), do you think it would be wise to stay another semester? Money is in no means an abundance, but my education is important to me now; I will make the sacrifice if necessary. I'm also about to clarify the same point in my thread, but I'm asking this question in general terms; I know that there are exceptions both ways. I'm trying to ascertain whether this 3.0 will in fact open up a lot of doors for master's program. I've long known about this 3.0 cut-off, but to what extent does this idealized standard exist? Regardless of graduate study, I am taking a year hiatus to work. I want to gain some perspective and improve my resume, and earning money while doing so makes this an attractive option. In addition, I'm considering taking graduate course and studying for/retaking the GRE to compensate for my lesser GPA.

Essentially, I am between the 3.0 and the aforementioned means of compensation. My goal is to attend a "good" master's program, and by that I intend a program that I will truly benefit and furthermore learn from. I know too many horror stories of people who have "settled" for graduate study and wasted a lot of resources only to find out that they are receiving a poor education and regret it. I don't want that.

As far as transitioning from a master's program to a doctoral program, I'm not sure if I want to right now. Right now, I know I want practice so I want to do a master's regardless of my GPA. The commitment you described is primarily why. I'm not sure if I want or am ready for that right now. Pardon my ignorance if I'm wrong, but it seems like nowadays a master's program will take you nearly as far as a doctoral program in regards to clinical practice. That being said, my priorities may change; Education is an interest of mine, so at some point a PhD might be in my future.

I'm sure you all can fill in the blanks of what those points were in response to.
 

Marissa4usa

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I'm under the impression that taking classes from another institution after completing a degree will not affect the GPA earned in that degree; the classes will certainly be listed and considered, but they will not be factored in. Is that correct? On that note though, I am considering taking additional courses as I mention below.
I am not familiar with the specifics of how programs evaluate transcripts. Obviously, they would see that newer, improved grades come from a different "lower" school (if you chose the CC route) and furthermore, yes, your GPA for your college degree from your current institution would still be pretty low. However, I would think that the newer grades would still be counted towards your undergraduate GPA. You could also wait to graduate while taking classes elsewhere (although I sometimes hear that schools don't let you take classes elsewhere during the last semesters).

Obviously, you'll need to figure out what works. These are ideas to get your overall undergrad GPA up to an acceptable level that make you competitive for a decent graduate program without paying an arm and a leg for it.
 
OP
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Dec 18, 2013
5
0
I am not familiar with the specifics of how programs evaluate transcripts. Obviously, they would see that newer, improved grades come from a different "lower" school (if you chose the CC route) and furthermore, yes, your GPA for your college degree from your current institution would still be pretty low. However, I would think that the newer grades would still be counted towards your undergraduate GPA. You could also wait to graduate while taking classes elsewhere (although I sometimes hear that schools don't let you take classes elsewhere during the last semesters).

Obviously, you'll need to figure out what works. These are ideas to get your overall undergrad GPA up to an acceptable level that make you competitive for a decent graduate program without paying an arm and a leg for it.
I do not plan on enrolling in CC for necessary courses to earn a 3.0 GPA. Thank you for your feedback; I certainly don't even have the arm and leg to give.:(.

On a similar note, does anyone have any random tips for GRE studying?
 

xXIDaShizIXx

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I am not familiar with the specifics of how programs evaluate transcripts. Obviously, they would see that newer, improved grades come from a different "lower" school (if you chose the CC route) and furthermore, yes, your GPA for your college degree from your current institution would still be pretty low. However, I would think that the newer grades would still be counted towards your undergraduate GPA. You could also wait to graduate while taking classes elsewhere (although I sometimes hear that schools don't let you take classes elsewhere during the last semesters).

Obviously, you'll need to figure out what works. These are ideas to get your overall undergrad GPA up to an acceptable level that make you competitive for a decent graduate program without paying an arm and a leg for it.
Your whole undergraduate GPA would be calculated. Even if your GRE score was high, I would probably apply to mostly master's programs so as to improve your chances of getting in. That being said, for the GRE I do not think it is necessary to student more than 2-3 months, get the GRE book from ETS and do all the practice tests in there, and you should know if you are ready to take it or not. I scored on the real thing, what I usually made on the practice tests. It is not an extremely hard test.
 
OP
N
Dec 18, 2013
5
0
Your whole undergraduate GPA would be calculated. Even if your GRE score was high, I would probably apply to mostly master's programs so as to improve your chances of getting in. That being said, for the GRE I do not think it is necessary to student more than 2-3 months, get the GRE book from ETS and do all the practice tests in there, and you should know if you are ready to take it or not. I scored on the real thing, what I usually made on the practice tests. It is not an extremely hard test.
Thank you so much. I will do that. I'm working through Kaplan's now, but am not impressed with the quantitative section. There are numerous mistakes that make me question their professionalism, but I do think I am benefiting from it.

Right now it seems like the general consensus is that it is a good idea to stay until I earn my 3.0 GPA :( - Goodbye arm and leg.